East Texas families are stepping up to adopt children profiled on the weekly Children are a Gift segment on CBS 19 and story in the Tyler Morning Telegraph. Here is an update on 11 more children who now have their forever family.
First up are Elizabeth and her brother Chris. We took them to Tyler’s Broadway Square Mall to visit with Santa.
“I like you,” Chris said as he crawled up into Santa’s lap.
Their wish list for Mr. Claus was short and sweet, but meaningful.
“The one thing I want for Christmas is my brother,” Elizabeth said.
After spending two years in foster care, their wish came true being adopted together.
Then, there was 9-year-old Zella, who loves to be the center of attention. We played a round of putt-putt golf.
“Miniature golf is something kids play with the grown-ups,” she said, acting as the host of a sports television show.
She was cautious after spending six years in foster care.
“That’s her survival mode kicking in,” Rita O’Brien, her CPS caseworker, explained.
Zella now feels safe and loved after finding her forever family.
We also introduced you to Steven and his little sister, Cheyenne. They are not only siblings, they are best friends.
“Without him I’d be by myself and I’d be scared,” Cheyenne said. “I’m very used to my brother.”
They’ve bonded even more, moving from home to home in foster care.
“It’s been hard having to go through all the things that I’ve been through,” Steven said sadly.
And they were ready for a better life.
“I think being adopted is a great idea,” Cheyenne said with a smile.
The two of them are smiling more often now that they are together with their forever family.
We also met 11-year-old Kyle, who had many years of disappointment.
“I’ve been in foster care most of my life,” he said.
He was ready for stability and normalcy.
“I used to steal and blame stuff on people when I was 6 or 7, but I changed from that,” he told us.
And now he has changed even more, with the love and guidance of a forever family.
We also shared the story of 11-year-old Clifford, who many called “a survivor.” After years in foster care, his hope of having a family began to fade.
“I’ve had like four families out of the four years in foster care that wanted to adopt me, but then they don’t want to,” he explained with a somber face.
He longed desperately to be adopted. I asked him why it was important to him to have a family. Like so many foster children, he said, “So I don’t keep moving from place to place to place to place.”
Clifford’s moving days are now over as he finally found the forever family he had always dreamed of.
We also brought our viewers the story of Elijah, Isaiah and Josiah. An inconsistent past had left these siblings in need of stability.
“I don’t want to keep changing parents,” Elijah said.
Despite being young, they knew what it meant to be adopted. Isaiah said, “To stay with them forever.”
Now these brothers have a nurturing home where they will stay together forever.
And we met Cody. He was a very bright teenager. His intelligence helped him deal with his past.
“I was in care when I was 7. Then I got out for a little bit for three years and then I guess I went back in at 11. So, I’ve been in care for three years,” he told us.
But he was optimistic about a successful future.
“It would be good to have a family that loves me and respects me and you know do fun stuff with them and get out of CPS.”
He is now out of CPS and has that love and respect of a forever family.
Almost a dozen East Texas children were given a second chance at a bright future, all thanks to local families willing to share their love and change these young lives forever.
To learn more about adoption, join Gillian Sheridan for her Children are a Gift report, Tuesday night on CBS 19 Ten @ 10. You can also find information on www.cbs19.tv and in the Tyler Morning Telegraph. To inquire about an East Texas child waiting to be adopted, call 903-676-2407.